Corner of The Coffee Shop

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He’s sitting in the corner of the coffee shop. Beside him is a mason jar of paperclips. He’s taken the time to set up a portable printer at the edge of his table. It appears that he’s printing off his work every few pages, clipping them together, and adding them to the growing stack that rests alongside a, most likely, room temperature cup of coffee. Is he double spacing?

The rate at which he’s printing feels alarming. Every ten minutes, on the minute. There’s no one else here other than the barista, but she doesn’t seem to notice, or isn’t as mesmerized. What’s the project he’s working on? Why so many miniature packets?

It’s almost 6PM and it’s time to go. The bell above the door alerts him as I go to leave. He calls out, waves a packet in the air. I walk over to accept the offering. As I leave I read it.

He’s sitting at the table in the middle of the coffee shop.

I overheard his order — medium black coffee. This is either his first time or his daily routine. The menu here is quite impressive, seems odd to pick the simplest choice. This time of year it’s easy to go overboard on the pumpkin spice, maybe he’s showing self control in the face of the haunting holiday spirit.

Every so often he glances over at me. It’s become the norm, everyone is intrigued by the work, they always are. The onlookers as I refer to them. Will he appreciate this piece? Do any of them appreciate these customary slices of life? There’s no telling unless he says something before he walks out with it. There’s little chance I’ll visit this coffee shop again, so even if he is a regular I’ll never know.

Fiction writer. Coffee enthusiast. Writer of romance, mystery, and humor. Discover more at and

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